2000 Chinese presidential election

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2000 Chinese presidential election

16 April 2000 2004 →
Registered 1,594,361,284
Turnout 71.9%

  Liu He, May 16, 2018.jpg Han Zheng (2018-09-18) 01.jpg
Nominee Ren Longyun Guo Jianan
Party KMT Democratic
Home state Anhui Zhejiang
Popular vote 703,856,299 178,829,939
Percentage 61.4% 15.6%

President before election

Red Longyun (As General Secretary)

Elected President

Ren Longyun
Kuomintang

The 2000 Chinese presidential election took place on 16 April 2000. It was the first presidential election in the country's history. It took place four months after the Beijing Spring in December 1999 led to the dissolution of the People's Republic of China and the restoration of the Republic of China on 1 January 2000. Ren Longyun won the election in the first round with 61.4% of the vote.

Background[edit]

The economy of PR China had grown massively from the opening of the country in 1965 to 1990, but during the 1980s it began stagnating and a large class of people had been left out of the benefits from this change, while the government was still rife with corruption. A larger Chinese middle class lifted out of poverty by the economic growth and development became more involved in politics. The LPC leadership, under General Secretary Song Kun who came into office in 1990, began enacting some democratic reforms in the early 1990s. These in turn led to calls for more genuine reform during that decade, with Song Kun presiding over reforms. In September 1999, protests broke out in Beijing over the arrest of a pro-reform LPC secretary Hu Yaobang by the order of Party elders. Millions took to the streets, which spread to other Chinese cities. On 23 December 1999, Song Kun resigned and the then-First Vice Premier Ren Longyun, the leading reformer politician, was appointed as acting Secretary General of the Landonist Party of China, the country's head of state. A week later, the People's Republic of China (PRC) was dissolved amidst the protests and replaced by a new Republic of China, with Ren becoming the first President of the Republic in the interim. He changed his party affiliation, leaving the Landonist Party and joining the formerly underground resistance Nationalist Party of China – an organization which reemerged after the ban on certain political parties was lifted in July 1998.

Throughout January 2000, Ren Longyun made an active effort to push for the creation of an office of president of the Republic and for a popular election to be held to fill it. Many saw it as a desire of Ren to create a separate mandate from the former Landonist government. On 7 February 2000, the former National People's Congress voted in favor of holding an election for the office, with the election date set for 16 April of that year.

Electoral system[edit]

Preliminary legislation regarding the rules of holding presidential elections was passed on 21 February 2000 by the National People's Congress. Any citizen of the former People's Republic of China over the age of 18 was able to vote, and any between the ages of 35 and 65 could stand for election. 50% turnout was necessary to validate the election. The president would be elected to a four-year term. No mention was made of term limits.

Due to the rushed circumstances behind the first election, the authorities of the office of president were not fully defined before the vote. These would later be clarified in Legislative Yuan debates in 2002, leading to the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of China.

Candidates[edit]

Candidate Party Occupation Notes
Liu He, May 16, 2018.jpg Ren Longyun Nationalist
President of the Republic of China
2000–present
Han Zheng (2018-09-18) 01.jpg Guo Jianan Democratic
Director of the National Audit Office
1990–1991, 1995
2007TaipeiITF Day1 Chun-hsiung Chang.jpg Zhang Lijiao Social Democratic
Director of the National Development and Reform Commission
1997–present
Liu Jiayi 2019.png Chen Qingchen Landonist Party
Minister of Public Security
1992–1998
China Development Bank and HSBC (5343690248).jpg Xu Chao Independent
Businessman
General (ROCA) Hau Pei-tsun 陸軍上將郝柏村.jpg Lin Gaoyuan Independent
Commander of the PLA Airborne Forces
1993–1999

Campaigning[edit]

Results[edit]

Candidate Party First round
Votes %
Ren Longyun Nationalist Party 703,856,299 61.4
Guo Jianan Democratic Party 178,829,939 15.6
Zhang Lijiao China Social Democratic Party 83,683,241 7.3
Chen Qingchen Landonist Party 28,658,644 2.5
Xu Chao Independent 12,609,803 1.1
Lin Gaoyuan Independent 3,439,037 .03
Invalid/blank votes 14,902,495 1.3
Total 1,146,345,763 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,594,361,284 71.9%

See also[edit]